We've seen a lot of dirty pool from the Clinton campaign. The thing that disturbs me the most is that I'm seeing a pattern. To see this pattern more closely, we've got to break things down, by taking a look at the behavior of Hillary Clinton herself, and a look at the behavior of her supporters.
Certainly, Clinton's behavior has been less than chivalrous. To start, there is the long history of lying, with Sniper-gate being the most famous example. There's the vindictive actions - denouncements of Bill Richardson, for example. There's the vicious attacks she's been making on Barack Obama for everything from the "bitter" remark to Rev. Wright. She's made some poor calls on the issues, such as threatening to nuke Iran. But Clinton herself is just part of the pattern.
Also alarming is the behavior of her supporters. They've accepted all of Clinton's actions and behavior without question. They've had their own misdeeds - throwing people from Keith Olbermann to Ted Kennedy under the bus for failing to support Hillary Clinton, and they've demanded that other Democrats support Hillary because "It's her turn" or because she's a woman.
But what's the pattern? I'd say it's nothing less than Right Wing Authoritarianism.
Let's look at the work of Dr. Bob Altemeyer, Professor of Psychology at the university of Manitoba. We'll crack open Dr. Altemeyer's book The Authoritarians (free PDF download). I also want to mention that Dr. Altemeyer's work is referenced extensively by John Dean in his books Conservatives Without Conscience and Broken Government. You might also want to take a look at a CliffsNotes summary of Right Wing Authoritarianism at Wikipedia.
We'll start by checking out the characteristics of Right Wing Authoritarians. The term "Right Wing" is used by Dr. Altemeyer differently from the way it's used in normal politics, not describing someone who's necessarily on the political right wing, but someone who fits a specific set of characteristics. I'm talking about the characteristics of a person who will submit to established authorities in society.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment